British Prime Minister David Cameroon has stated that the U.K. is in a ‘special relationship‘ with the U.S., and that Britain is the ‘junior partner.’ Do you think that David Cameroon and Barack Obama might trade places when they meet together next week? No, I’m just kidding. They’re meeting in the Oval Office, not the Lincoln Bedroom.
But what is this ‘special relationship,’ ‘partner’ business? I thought that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson et al. settled all that.
And every time I tune into Sean Hannity, it’s “Ronald Reagan” this and “Ronald Reagan” that. He is fixated on Reagan. Hannity seems to think that Reagan was a great president, and that “America needs another Ronald Reagan.” Well, Ronald Reagan had ‘greatness,’ and a lot of potential, at least according to his anti-government, pro-freedom rhetoric in 1980, but he was not that great a president. As Murray Rothbard noted in 1987,
In 1980, the last year of free-spending Jimmy Carter the federal government spent $591 billion. In 1986… the federal government spent $990 billion, an increase of 68%. Whatever this is, it is emphatically not reducing government expenditures….
…Jimmy Carter habitually ran deficits of $40-50 billion and, by the end, up to $74 billion; but by 1984, when Reagan had promised to achieve a balanced budget, the deficit had settled down comfortably to about $200 billion…
…the famous “tax cut” of 1981 did not cut taxes at all. It’s true that tax rates for higher-income brackets were cut; but for the average person, taxes rose, rather than declined. The reason is that, on the whole, the cut in income tax rates was more than offset by two forms of tax increase. One was “bracket creep,” a term for inflation quietly but effectively raising one into higher tax brackets, so that you pay more and proportionately higher taxes even though the tax rate schedule has officially remained the same. The second source of higher taxes was Social Security taxation, which kept increasing, and which helped taxes go up overall…
…Since the tax cut of 1981 that was not really a cut, furthermore, taxes have gone up every single year since, with the approval of the Reagan administration. But to save the president’s rhetorical sensibilities, they weren’t called tax increases. Instead, ingenious labels were attached to them; raising of “fees,” “plugging loopholes” (and surely everyone wants loopholes plugged), “tightening IRS enforcement,” and even revenue enhancements.” I am sure that all good Reaganomists slept soundly at night knowing that even though government revenue was being “enhanced,” the president had held the line against tax increases.
We don’t need another Ronald Reagan. Reagan added three new cabinet-level bureaucracies, rather than removing the two (Education and Energy) that he had promised to remove. Reagan signed each and every budget that Congress submitted, including the U.S. government’s very first trillion dollar budget. Were he a true, principled conservative, Reagan would have thrown each budget back at Congress and ordered them to eliminate the unnecessary, pork-filled programs that should be handled by the private sector. That’s what Robert Taft (1889-1953) and Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) would’ve done. We need another Robert Taft, and Sean Hannity needs to throw out his Ronald Reagan doll.